I’m guessing Monica Lewinsky’s name will resurface if Hillary Clinton decides to drop her name in the hat for the presidential election in 2016.
I read the Monica Lewinsky essay in Vanity Fair (June 2014) Monica’s 40 now. While the Clintons have obviously moved on, Monica hasn’t been as fortunate. (read the article for those details) However, I need to admit that I’ve been VERY wrong about Monica Lewinsky’s role in her relationship with Bill Clinton. After all these years, she still insists the relationship was consensual. For whatever reason, I’ve chosen to believe that it was a case of harassment, when indeed it was not.
That said, I also feel huge disappointment in all those who continued to humiliate Ms. Lewinsky with labels and vicious humor. (and Beyonce – really? The line in your “song” referring to Monica is pretty pathetic)
I’m also EXTREMELY disappointed in the women who were the Big Girls of the Feminist Movement. I thought these were the women who paved the way for us – fought for us and urged women to get join forces vs. relying on old behaviors such as competing and participating in catty commentary. Here are some of the things that the members of the Feminist Roundtable of 1998 had to say about Monica:
Lewinsky singles out a particularly egregious roundtable convened by the New York Observer in 1998 which included the writers Erica Jong and Katie Roiphe, wherein Lewinsky was referred to as “some non-brilliant woman” and “not that pretty.” The writer Nancy Friday suggested that as a next career step, “She can rent out her mouth.”
Jong: My dental hygienist pointed out that she had third-stage gum disease.
Friday: He likes Southern beauty-queen types. It’s what his mother said. Southern beauty queens have that big lips, big-hair look.
Prose: Isn’t it interesting that Bill doesn’t go for women that look like Hillary?
On reports that Hillary Clinton recently told a friend that Lewinsky was a “narcissistic loony tune” (Hillary also claimed she was a “stalker”)
The bestselling author of Backlash, Susan Faludi said, “If anything, it sounds like she put the moves on him,” and said Lewinsky had been “sleeping her way to the bottom of the Revlon empire.” (Shortly before the affair became public, Clinton’s friend Vernon Jordan had been trying to arrange a job for Lewinsky at Revlon in New York in part to get her away from the president.)
Betty Friedan weighed in, but only to huff her outrage that Clinton’s “enemies are attempting to bring him down through allegations about some dalliance with an intern… Whether it’s a fantasy, a set-up or true, I simply don’t care.”
There is no doubt these women forgot that catty remarks and snide comments are the antithesis of the Feminist Movement. What they didn’t forget was their allegiance to Bill Clinton for being so aggressive regarding women’s issues.
And she (Monica) requests one correction of Beyoncé, regarding the lyrics to her recent hit “Partition”: (Monica speaking) “Thanks, Beyoncé, but if we’re verbing, I think you meant ‘Bill Clinton’d all on my gown,’ not ‘Monica Lewinsky’d.’” Actual lyrics: He bucked all my buttons, he ripped my blouse He Monica Lewinski all on my gown
Kudos to David Letterman who somewhat apologized during his show in May of this year: Letterman then offers up some remorse regarding his jokes based on Monica Lewinsky: (“I feel bad about my role in helping push the humiliation to the point of suffocation”), to which Walters simply replies, “Good. Then we can stop.”